So much has changed since my last blog post. We’re in the midst of a global pandemic and the UK is in lockdown for at least the next three weeks. With the arrival of spring, when wedding season should be just beginning, couples find themselves having to postpone and cancel an event they’ve spent weeks and months planning. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been doing everything I can to help and support my clients during this heart-breaking time.       

Although the wedding industry is in turmoil right now and many of us are fighting to keep our businesses afloat, there are still lots of lovely couples out there who are planning weddings much later this year and beyond. If that’s you, I want you to have as fun and inspiring a wedding planning journey as possible. I’m determined to keep showing up, posting pretty things and sharing my expertise.

I’ve had the subject of today’s post planned for a while, but in a funny kind of way talking about intimate modern elopements feels like a good fit for the period of social distancing we find ourselves in. Will this trend remain popular post-pandemic or will we all be desperate for a big, traditional celebration? Either way, when this is all over, the occasions that bring our friends and families together will be more important than ever before.  

What is a Modern Elopement?

clifftop modern elopement bride and groom wedding vows

Historically, elopements took place if a couple needed to marry in secret because approval was unlikely to be granted. Modern couples are less likely to need permission in the same way, but the romantic image of running away to exchange vows in secret still holds great appeal.  

What it means to get married in private has changed dramatically. Nowadays, the boundary pushing is less about disobeying your parents and more about swerving formalities that don’t feel true to who you are as a couple.

modern elopement tablescape place setting styled with rattan charger plates and gold cutlery

The growing popularity of modern elopements is part of a broader wedding trend for more intimate, bespoke ceremonies. Last year, Pinterest reported a 128% increase in searches for elopement photography ideas. Searches for destination weddings in the mountains were up by 32% along with other popular terms like ‘elopements in forests’.  

In Devon and Cornwall especially, there’s a distinct, separate industry developing for destination elopements. Couples are treating the occasion like a short break or holiday with a wedding attached and smaller venues are offering tailormade packages for under 15 people. Often, it’s just the couple and their children or the couple and a few members of their very close family.

Inspiration for Your Modern Elopement

modern elopement wedding inspiration sweetheart table

The intimate nature of modern elopements gives you the freedom to really concentrate on the styling. You need less of everything, so it’s easier to invest in a few luxury items that will elevate the overall look and feel of your celebration. Consider a dramatic, bespoke ceremony backdrop or a single beautifully styled table.

If you’re serving dinner for a few people afterwards, keep things as cosy as possible. Create a gorgeous atmosphere with lots of candlelight, soft cushions and layered fabrics. If it’s just the two of you, I’d suggest a small sweetheart table or a romantic picnic. Don’t forget to treat yourselves! Indulge in a mini dessert table piled high with macarons, miniature doughnuts and a small-but-perfectly-formed wedding cake.

modern elopement wedding inspiration mini dessert table with doughnuts and macaroons

Tablescape Tuesday

With so many weddings being postponed, I’ve been thinking about creative things I can do to fill my days. I’ve got a lovely dining room table at home which won’t be getting much use in the coming weeks, so I’ve decided to dedicate every Tuesday to creating a brand new tablescape on Instagram Stories. I’ll be sharing video and images of me styling in the hope that it will inspire anyone planning a wedding or even just a dinner party to celebrate when this is all over.

I’ll see you soon for Tablecape Tuesday, but in the meantime, stay home and stay safe.

Photo Credits:

Photographer // Emma Barrow Photography, Styling & Stationery // Knots & Kisses, Florist // Holly Bee Flowers, Cake // Edible Essence